FEM health
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Benin

Background on exemption policy

In order to reduce maternal mortality, the Benin government has introduced several new strategies since 2006. The first strategy made kits for obstetric emergencies available to referral hospitals. The second strategy, which began in 2007, introduced special funds to assist the poorest, including the poorest women who need access to EMOC services (Fonds des Indigents). Social workers in hospital have the responsibility to identify women belonging to this category. Thirdly, since April 2009, free caesarean sections have been available in 43 private-not-for-profit and public hospitals that provide emergency care. Hospitals are reimbursed 100,000 CFA per woman with a caesarean section to cover laboratory costs (medical check up before medical intervention), drugs, kits, surgery, blood and 7 days hospitalization costs. Furthermore, the government of Benin is currently testing a results-based financing approach to improve quality of care.

The implementation of the free caesarean section policy has just started and its impact has not been evaluated yet. This project is therefore very timely.

Country profile 

Continent

Africa

Population (in thousands)1

8,662

Gross national income per capita ($)2

1,510

Adult literacy rate (%)1

40.5

Life expectancy at birth (years)1

57

Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 live birth)1

76

Under-5 mortality rate (per 1,000 live birth)1

121

Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 live birth) 1

410

Per capita total expenditure on health (PPP int. $)1

70

Government expenditure on health as percentage of total health expenditure1

51.8

Government expenditure on health as percentage of total govt. expenditure1

10.7

Hospital beds (per 10,000 population)1

5

Source: 1 WHO: Global Health Observatory; 2 World Bank: Data